Mike Leiby — The Independent Contractor H.J. Martin and Son has the job of remodeling the inside of the old ALCO store so the new Shopko can open sometime in March in the Safeway Shopping Plaza on Main Street in Springerville. The new store could generate upwards of 30 new jobs in the small town community where employment can sometimes be hard to find.

SPRINGERVILLE — The empty ALCO building next to the Safeway grocery store on Main Street in Springerville will not be vacant much longer.

A Shopko store will have a soft opening on March 13 in that location. 

Shopko is a company of hometown stores with a goal of meeting the needs of small-town communities across the country. Shopko (founded in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1962) is a nationwide company with 131 stores in 24 states.

Shopko stores offer things like name-brand merchandise and clothing, a pharmacy and optical services.

With jobs being scarce in Springerville, the added employment Shopko will bring to the area — as well as bolstering the local economy — will be well received.

Town Manager Steve West thinks Shopko officials made a good choice in Springerville.

“This is a central location to both eastern New Mexico and Arizona,” West said. “And this is the first (Shopko) in Arizona that I know of.”

West said it is only appropriate that Round Valley residents finally have a one-stop shopping store that understands what rural communities want and need.

“That is one of the biggest things about it,” he said, noting the store will have a good partnership with the town.

“They are bigger than ALCO but smaller than Kmart. And this will help keep more of our tax dollars in this area.”

Springerville officials learned about Shopko choosing the town for a new store location just before Christmas — a nice Christmas present for the town and its residents.

West said the first round of job interviews to fill around six or eight positions took place about a month ago with more to come.

The Springerville store will be one of Shopko’s mid-size outlets. For more information, go to


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